Fast Horse Is Hiring A Design Director

November 5, 2010

Fast Horse

Hey. Yeah, you, designer extraordinaire. You’re looking a little, I dunno, bored. Understandable. You’ve been slogging away delivering some of the finest designs seen in these parts. Print. Outdoor. Digital. Origami. Your sister’s wedding invitations. You’ve piled up awards, accolades, promotions and a killer portfolio oozing with skill and knowledge. Yet somehow that all doesn’t seem like enough these days, does it? You want to build something. You want to take over a growing design practice and make it into a powerhouse. Look alive, Picasso. We’ve got an opportunity for you.

Fast Horse, an award-winning, integrated marketing firm in Minneapolis is looking for a Design Director to join our agency leadership team. This is a new position reflecting our clients’ increased demand for design services and the rapid growth of the agency. The Design Director will provide leadership in establishing Fast Horse as a design innovator and highly effective visual storyteller. We’re looking for someone with a minimum of eight years experience, and prefer someone who has extensive ad agency experience. The Design Director will lead our three-person design team and will be asked to grow our design business and collaborate with account teams to ensure design is a strong and effective part of our work on behalf of clients such as The Coca-Cola Company, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Marvin Windows and Doors, AmericInn, Odwalla and more.

Our Design Director will:

  • Determine the objectives and priorities of a project from a strategic standpoint and conceptualize solutions that meet those parameters
  • Provide expertise in all aspects of design; use the principles of design, brand knowledge and design tools to create exceptional designs that are in alignment with the brand and the concept and meet the objectives of the project
  • Determine and communicate the key points, style, form and content of projects to creative department members while directing the projects, providing feedback as needed
  • Communicate design trends to the organization
  • Ensure that a high standard of quality and service is maintained, working with account teams to deliver all design projects on time and on budget
  • Establish and manage preferred vendors list, including printers and copywriters
  • Hire and develop design/creative staff as needed
  • Coach, supervise, motivate and manage performance of design/creative staff
  • Partner with account teams to ensure client satisfaction, communicating with clients when necessary
  • Research and develop ways to meet clients’ needs at the organizational level
  • Profitably manage all design projects
  • Grow our design business by identifying and cultivating new design projects and clients
  • Assist with and, when appropriate, lead agency marketing initiatives, including new business presentations, blog and social media content and Fast Horse collateral development

Requisite Skills for Design Director:

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Excellent interpersonal and leadership skills
  • Extensive computer skills
    • Design software
      • Illustrator
      • Flash
      • Photoshop
      • InDesign
    • Video editing software
    • Working knowledge of CMS
  • Project management – including the ability to set and meet deadlines and budgets
  • Versatile design skills, communicating ideas both visually and verbally
  • Creative concept facilitation and initiation
  • Strategic orientation – relating design work to clients’ overall business plans and goals
  • Problem analysis – thoroughly defining challenges and solutions
  • Resourcefulness– integrating creative knowledge with business realities
  • Openness to new ideas and influences
  • Visual identity – creating style for each project
  • Mastery of artistic techniques and skills
  • Curiosity to seek out new techniques and innovations


  • Brand principles and strategy
  • Estimating process
  • Sales process and sales techniques
  • Value of design
  • Creative process
  • Graphic standards
  • Extensive computer knowledge
  • Design trends, process and theory
  • Design software and tools
  • Fundamentals of design
  • Visualizing techniques
  • Production techniques
  • Principles of marketing
  • Principles of management
  • General business


  • Four-year degree in Graphic Arts, Graphic Design, Fine Arts or Communication Arts
  • Minimum eight years’ experience in the graphic design field including track record for increasing management/supervisory responsibilities
  • Must have extensive interactive design experience
  • Advertising agency experience preferred


  • We value initiative, a sense of humor, risk-taking and flexibility. What else have you got?
  • You also need to have a thick skin and a long fuse to thrive in a creative, open, fast-paced agency like Fast Horse.


We offer a highly flexible workplace, where Fast Horse staff are untethered by a designated, office or desk. We call it hotdesking. Our building is set up to facilitate communication and collaboration. You are free to work wherever you desire, whether that’s at the office, at a coffee shop, at home, under a bridge or anywhere else where you feel creative and productive. We offer highly competitive salaries, a cafeteria healthcare plan, a SIMPLE IRA, bonus opportunities, paid parking and creativity stipends.

To apply for this position, email your resume and a link to your portfolio to Please no phone calls.